From Testing and Dev to All-In: The Stages of Cloud Adoption
When it comes to cloud migration, enterprises often take baby steps, dipping their toes in the water a little at a time before taking the full plunge. Just what are those steps and who is leading the charge towards the cloud?
Testing And Development: A Cloud No-Brainer
The first wave of cloud migration is often development and testing, a function that eats up—and often underutilizes— plenty of server space. Application and database servers may use one dedicated physical server apiece, but only utilize 10 percent of the capacity, especially if there are no development or testing activities under way. The cloud eliminates the need to overspend on development and testing purposes, as the organization only pays for what it uses. Moving these functions to the cloud is a cost-effective alternative to maintaining private servers, and it is viewed as one of the least disruptive migrations a business can make.
Applications: The Comfortable Cloud
Taking business applications into the cloud is often the next phase of migration. This is typically a simple process and it’s an easy process for decision makers to adopt, since many business applications are currently based in the cloud. Salesforce.com, Microsoft Office 365, Google Apps for Business, and other applications have paved the way, creating a comfort level with cloud-based services. Users enjoy the dependability and universal access they get with these applications, the IT team sees the benefits of automatic updates and easier disaster recovery processes, and business leaders see real cost-savings in terms of reduced storage space and hardware expenses.
Analytics in the Cloud: Top Shelf Functionality, Bottom Shelf Pricing
In the past, performing real time analytics on your enterprise website would have required a significant investment in massive databases and huge computers. Recently, an enterprise in Canada built the largest SQL data cube in the country to track everything that happened on its website. They spent millions of dollars for this capability, but Amazon Web Services already has this functionality built in for a fraction of the cost. Instead of spending millions, it is far more cost-efficient to move analytics into a system like AWS.
Mission Critical Applications: The Final Frontier
The final hurdle for cloud adoption is often mission-critical applications. It is normal to be apprehensive about moving those apps out of in-house data centers into the cloud. However, the business cycle can easily force change. For example, a routine hardware refresh can take 8-10 weeks and rack up over $200,000 in equipment costs. Amazon, on the other hand, can provide the same service for significantly less, and the enterprise can pay for additional services as needed. From that perspective, it’s easy to see the benefits of moving those last mission-critical applications into the cloud.
Upping the Ante: Going All In on the Cloud
Some organizations skip these intermediate steps and adopt a big bang approach to cloud migration. The CIA recently inked a $600 million deal with Amazon Web Service to go all in on the cloud. Intuit has also announced plans to go to the cloud through AWS.
The cloud delivers exponential cost savings. It eliminates the need for the hardware, physical storage space, and management teams required by in-house data centers. More and more enterprises are coming to realize that AWS can provide better security than they can provide on their own.
Organizations often dip their toes into the cloud, moving dev-and-test, applications, and analytics, but stop before they go all in. Once the majority of business functions have been moved to the cloud, isn’t it time to take your mission-critical applications there as well?